In today’s installment, we’re counting down the Top 5 Facts About Kendrick Lamar.
For this list, we’re focusing on the most interesting facts that we could find about Compton’s own KDOT, aka Kung Fu Kenny, aka Kendrick Lamar.
5. He’s good friends with Don Cheadle.
in 2017, Kendrick released the DNA music video featuring his longtime pal Don Cheadle. They initially bonded over creative interests years ago, and Kendrick actually
based his Kung Fu Kenny persona on Cheadle’s character from the 2001 film Rush Hour Two. over the years, they’ve been looking for the right project to collaborate on.
So when Kendrick began preproduction on DNA, he asked Cheadle if he could memorize a new verse, but didn’t provide any context for the video.
The result was an improvised interrogation scene, fear of building their friendship while creating a classic pop culture moment.
4. He recorded his first mixtape at age 16. In 2004,
Kendrick Lamar went by the name Keda, a moniker that he would later drop as he found his own style. He was young, but even then, his talent, passion, and creativity were on full display.
In fact, Kendrick’s lyrical gymnastics caught the attention of Top Dog Entertainment, an independent record label founded in California.
The mixtape YH Nic surfaced online in 2013, and while it features some of the usual Kendrick grit, it’s clear that Kenny polished his tone and delivery over the years. It’s the production that ignited Kendrick Lamar’s career, allowing for more exposure and opportunities for the Compton teenager.
3. his cousin is an NBA star.
While KDOT released his fierce studio album, his cousin Swaggy P was balling out. Across town. Kendrick was picking up momentum in the music industry,
while Nick Young was just starting to make waves in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers. While Fisch drafted to the Washington Wizards in 2007,
young went on to play for the Clippers Lakers and ultimately got picked up by the Golden State Warriors for the 2017 season. Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar reaped the rewards of his groundbreaking album Good Kid, Mad City.
2. He was on the set for Tupac’s California Love music video.
Out on a bill fresh out of jail. California dreaming. Soon as I said the same year before Tupac Shakur passed away, he filmed one of his most iconic music videos with Condon’s own Dr. Dre. Nearby lived an eight-year-old Kendrick Lamar who managed to catch a glimpse of his idols at the crossroads, both literally and figuratively.
The production itself marked a pivotal moment for hip hop, and the experience profoundly affected this good kid living in a mad city. Kendrick Lamar would later collaborate with Dr. Dre, and he returned to the same California Love location to shoot his King Kunter music video in 2015.
1. He was a straight-A student.
In his younger days, Kendrick stayed focused on education. He earned straight A’s at Compton’s Centennial High, the same school attended by
Dr. Dre, and it most definitely shows in his music. Over the years, Kendrick Lamar has evolved into one of the most respected artists of his time, balancing intellectual weird plate and practical stories that people can relate to.
He’s been inspired by musicians from various genres, but it’s his own ability to inspire that puts him in a class of his own. My left stroke just went viral with Damn. Kendrick has stimulated a whole new set of conversations, all the while continuing to post. Push hip-hop forward.